Bornean Stubtail / Urosphena whiteheadi

Bornean Stubtail / Urosphena whiteheadi

Bornean Stubtail

SCI Name:  Urosphena whiteheadi
Protonym:  Orthnocichla whiteheadi Ibis p.478
Taxonomy:  Passeriformes / Scotocercidae /
Taxonomy Code:  borstu1
Type Locality:  Mt. Kinabalu, Borneo.
Publish Year:  1888
IUCN Status:  


(Scotocercidae; Ϯ Asian Stubtail U. squameiceps) Gr. ουρα oura  tail; σφην sphēn, σφηνος sphēnos  wedge; "Mr. Brooks urges me to have a figure of this bird published, and to assign to it the characters of a new genus, as he considers that it does not belong to Tribura, Pnoepyga, Horornis, or any other known genus, though it has certain characters in common with them.  I think, therefore, that it would be as well to propose for it the generic name Urosphena, from its wedge-shaped tail, and to characterize it as follows:—  Bill at base exceedingly slender and much depressed.  Wing of unusual power for such a little bird.  Tail almost as in Pnoepyga, but somewhat more rounded.  Style of coloration scaly, as in Pnoepyga.  Legs and feet large, strong, and coloured as in Horornis.  Lower tail-coverts very long.  Mr. Brooks says, "I do not know of any genus in which this little bird can be placed: the scaly plumage separates it from Horornis, Neornis, and Tribura.  This, with its queer short tail, brings it near Pnoepyga; but the bill is as slender as in Troglodytes, or more so, and the wing is quite unlike that of Pnoepyga.  I wonder whether ten tail-feathers is the correct number; that is the number in my specimen, which appears to be perfect."  The synonymy of this bird will stand as follows:—  UROSPHENA SQUAMICEPS.  Tribura squamiceps, Swinhoe, P.Z.S. 1863, p. 292; Ibis, 1866, p. 397, et 1874, p. 155." (Swinhoe 1877); "Urosphena Swinhoe, 1877, Ibis, p. 204, pl. 4. Type, by monotypy, Tribura squameiceps Swinhoe." (Watson in Peters 1986, XI, 6).
Synon. Orthnocichla, Urophlexis.

● John Whitehead (1860-1899) British explorer, collector in Borneo 1885-1888, the Philippines 1893-1896, and Hainan 1899 (Aerodramus, Calyptomena, syn. Dicaeum haematostictum, subsp. Dicrurus leucophaeus (ex Buchanga palawanensis Whitehead, 1890), Harpactes, syn. Leptocoma sperata henkei, subsp. Lophura nycthemera, syn. Nisaetus nipalensis, syn. Pachycephala grisola plateni, subsp. Prioniturus discurus, Sitta, syn. Strix seloputo wiepkeni, syn. Trichastoma bicolor, subsp. Turdus poliocephalus, subsp. Turnix sylvaticus, Urocissa, Urosphena, subsp. Zosterops montanus, Zosterornis).
● Maj. Charles Hugh Tempest Whitehead (1880-1915) British Army in India, collector (syn. Zoothera mollissima).